Posted 2/29/12 – Tomorrow, March 1st, 2012, will be the first day in more than 45, 500 days that the sun has risen on Kersting Court and will not create shade from the main pepper tree, planted in the 1880s (1887?) by a teacher at Sierra Madre School, which was located at that spot at the time. While it is sad to see it gone, as you look through these pictures of the tree being removed, it is obvious that there was too much disease in the tree to allow it to remain. The hollowed out branches and trunks are evidence that they were structurally unprepared to handle their own weight. By the way, for those who wish the City had hired a local contractor to take the tree down, I’m told that both Osti Tree Service and Anderson Tree Service declined to take the job on. Probably a good move, would you want to be the local company that took down everyone’s favorite tree?
For those who are wondering, there will be meetings of both the Tree Commission and the Community Services Commission seeking public input on what to do with the park now that the tree is gone. Some local woodworkers have offered to work with the wood from the tree to create something memorable. In addition to the benches that are being discussed, I wonder if it would be possible to maybe make a cross or some other kind of accessory to put on the creche. Maybe a star of David or a replacement for the menorah that goes in the grass each year. Just an idea.
I have more than 40 videos of the removal of the tree, and will be posting a nice long video, when I have time. In the meantime, here’s a short summary. Below the video is a photographic documentation of the removal of an old friend from our midst, after 125 years of being the center of our town. Click to enlarge.